Heart's Delight 2014 wrapped up with the Bordeaux Master Class on Saturday afternoon, May 3rd, followed by the grand reception and auction (aka DC's best wine party!). As with all of the 2014 Heart's Delight events, they were successful.
The master class featured the 2011 vintage. After the widely heralded 2009 and 2010 vintages, I wasn't sure what to expect from 2011...but my suspicion was confirmed. Good winemakers make good wine. The difference often turns out to be at the level below the main players. In vintages like 2009, with plenty of sun, everyone's grapes get ripe and the many lesser known producers can make good wine at an affordable price. 2011 started out sunny...but featured a cool and damp August. As one often hears, "a dry September saved the vintage" (I recall using my umbrella a lot during one of those "dry Septembers" but in this case, I think it was true).
My sense: the 2011 whites from Bordeaux are outstanding...both dry and sweet. My picks of the litter from the samples we tasted: Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc among the dries and Chateau Coutet among the sweets. But all were good.
The reds were a little more uneven. Some seemed to lack the depth that one might find in a great vintage. But there were some very good wines. My pleasant surprise of the tasting was the Chateau Giscours. I've enjoyed their wines in the past--and have visited--but I thought it was particularly strong this year. It had more depth than most...and enough complexity that it invited you into a "conversation" to get to know it better. In comparing it to the Chateau du Tertre, it was interesting to see how two wines from adjoining estates in Margaux, owned by the same person, and made by the same winemaker could taste so different. Both were good, but the Giscours was my red of the tasting.
And the reception and auction were lively and fun. Great food, good wine and lots of fun things to bid on. I came away with some big bottles that I coveted and a dinner with Chef Roberto Donna. And I'm particularly excited about dinner with writer and importer Terry Theise in Boston. I can taste those grower champagnes now!
Best of all, Heart's Delight succeeded in its mission of raising money to fight heart's disease. Over $1M will be used to fund efforts to limit America's number one killer. A toast to that!